Rants for Reason

Exploring logic, skepticism, freedom, tolerance, and knowledge

Mosque at Ground Zero

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Two days ago the Jewish Anti-Defamation League made a statement opposing the construction of a mosque and Islamic community center near the former site of the World Trade Center towers.  The only argument I can see for why it should not be built is in appeasing bigots.  I don’t think that should be any sort of priority.

Why allow them to build a mosque there?  Well, the reasons are extremely solid:

  • The Bill of Rights.  Did everybody so against this forget about Freedom of Religion?  Clearly they’re legally allowed to do what they want.
  • It will promote healing.  What better olive branch to try to heal the rift between Muslims abroad and America?  We should be doing everything we can, as a nation, to signal that our wars are not against Islam, but merely against specific terrorist groups.  (Really we should be stopping those wars, but that’s too strong a signal for Washington to handle.)

What arguments could possibly stand against them building a mosque there?  That the attackers were Muslim?  Is that not judging them simply by their religion and encouraging bigotry?  To back this argument is to say that Muslims are interchangeable to some degree — that because they shared some part of their religious beliefs, the hijackers are similar to peaceful Muslims the world around.  The attackers were all male — does that mean a boy scout building or camp near the site would be insensitive too?  What if some of them liked to play tennis?  Better not build a tennis court.

I’m disappointed that the Jewish Anti-Defamation League felt it necessary to butt in with their wrong-headed opinion.  The only thing that will quell violence on this planet is peace and love, as hippy-ish as it sounds.  Building a mosque there might just convince the rest of the world that America is not a country of bigots.

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Written by nelsonlu

August 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

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